SyncToy v1.4 Released

With over 33,000 total views, my August 9, 2005 announcement about the release of SyncToy is one of my more popular posts. According to Sean Kelley, your comments to that post helped drive some of the fixes, features, and enhancements that have gone into more recent versions. If you ask me, this is a great example of direct community engagement via blogs.

Yesterday, we released version 1.4 of SyncToy with improved Windows Vista compatibility. If you’re looking for a free and easy way to intelligently backup and synchronize your mountain of digital files, check this one out.

The team continues to ask for your feedback to enhance future versions. Of course, you can always leave feedback on my blog, but the Windows XP Photos newsgroup and the online feedback survey (available from the SyncToy Help menu) are probably a bit more direct.

Comments (19)

  1. Frank says:

    As I mentioned in the SyncToy 1.2 blog, SyncToy is still useless for backups. It does not delete folders on the right when using echo. My backup eventually becomes a garbled mess. What a shame. So many people complained about this on the internet. I still don’t understand why folders are not "sync’d" correctly when using Echo.

  2. Harlan says:

    Synctoy always produces an error when used in a batch file, so I can’t schedule it for overnight.  I had tried having a batch file to sync multiple folder pairs – each one with its own -R parameter – and it never got past the first one.  Yeah, I suppose I could schedule a separate action for each folder pair, but wouldn’t it be nice if Microsoft’s own utility actually worked on Microsoft’s own system and Microsoft’s own release of .Net?  

  3. Scott says:

    Can’t seem to schedule sync tasks on Vista since there is no executable called "SyncToy.exe"

  4. KDub says:


    Are the PC’s that are getting an error when you run synctoy with a batch file using 800×600 resolution?  If so, try increasing the resolution (i.e. 1024×786) and see if it still fails.

  5. Tony Whitmarsh says:

    I have found the same problem as Frank (posted Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:54 PM) in that deleted/renamed folders in left are not removed from the right, when using Echo.  Are MS going to fix this problem?

  6. Sean Kelley says:


    Your voice has been heard and we are addressing these issues for v2.0.  Thanks for your feedback.

    Sean Kelley


    Data Replication and Synchronization

    Program Manager

  7. Les says:


    Great tool, but on my new Vista installation its’s throwing an error ("*** Exception: Showing a modal dialog box or form when the application is not running in UserInteractive mode is not a valid operation. Specify the ServiceNotification or DefaultDesktopOnly style to display a notification from a service application.") when scheduled using Task Scheduler.

    Is this what others are seeing in their logfile?

  8. I see this too. Is this a bug or a configuration issue? I have it scheduled under a domain admins account, which is the same account under which I configured the folder pairs.

    What gives? I’ve got a customer who is growing very impatient.

  9. kage says:

    hi Mike,

    thanks for a tool works as advertised for the most part, except that it reported a few files as "not found".

    The files do very much exist and perhaps the only thing i could find was that SyncToy was perhaps running into some sort of path length limit. the 8 files reported as "not found" are all in 8.3 "dos name" format in a path that is 116 characters long. seems like 128 chars is the underlying limit (116 + 11 + 1(period)) .

    Anyone know of this being a known limit/bug??

  10. Bryan says:

    I use this v1.3 daily to sync my laptop and desktop. Only two bugs: 1. Echo not deleting folders on right side 2. PDF sometimes give access denied so won’t copy.  Any thoughts?

  11. Dirk-J. Drews says:

    Hi folks!

    When will SyncToy 2.0 be released? I´m also desperately waiting for the eliminationon of the "doesn´t-delete-empty-folders-bug".

    If possible, please inform me under

    Regards – Dirk

  12. Daniel Melameth says:

    I hate to say this, but I gave SyncToy a shot on Vista and, while it worked most of time and is pretty to look at, I found it to be VERY BLOATED AND SLOW—especially when working with lots of files (over 15000).  As a matter of fact, and this is more prevalent when deleting lots of files, SyncToy frequently used tons of CPU time, over 1.5GB of RAM and brought Vista “to its knees” while severely thrashing the hard drive.  The system was being burdened “like nothing I’ve ever seen before”—I couldn’t even move the mouse!  Honestly, I was impressed Vista did not crash.

    To the developers of SyncToy, give up what you are doing and base this off of Robocopy or something similar—or create a pretty front-end to Robocopy.  Ever since my recurring SyncToy nightmares and finding out that Robocopy is built into Vista, I quickly uninstalled SyncToy and have never looked back.

    I guess the idea of SyncToy was nice.

  13. Gary Ostergaard says:

    We also have the problem of files and folders not being deleted with the Echo action.  Any news yet when version 2.0 will be released?

  14. Roy van der Velden says:

    I use this v1.4 daily to sync my laptop and desktop i hjave one bug, synchronize das not deleting folders on right side.

  15. Alfred says:

    mode echo deletes files instead of overwriting them when files are updated on the left.

    This software is dangerous


  16. I also am having the problem with echo not deleting files from the right which were removed from the left. Unfortunately that means it’s useless for making backups in my case. And it’s very disappointing because the reason I am using MS SyncToy is because of a bug in MS Vista which is preventing me from completing transfers of large amounts of files to my external drive.

    So, any word on when 2.0 might be ready?

  17. Lance Couture says:

    This is just a great little app and I use it at home to back up all of my data.

    However, I am recently getting an error:

    "The application failed to initialize properly (0x000007b). Click on OK to terminate the application."

    I have ensured my computer and all .NET frameworks (1,2, & 3) are up to date, I have uninstalled and reinstalled the application, I have researched and researched a possible solution, yet I have come up with nothing.

    So, bothering the dev team is my last resort.

    Any possible help?

  18. Steven in Michigan says:

    SyncToy v2.0 in ECHO mode is still grossly messed up.  Will not overwrite updated files from left to right….  Oh well !!!

  19. Scott says:

    Im a total virgin when it comes to Synctoy but thought it was a great way of backing up files but on Vista It hasnt copied over any files to my external harddrive and just says Access Denied- I guess this is a config issue with my computer???

    Any Help please